Osinbajo Seeks Video Confessional Statements Of Suspects In Police Custody

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Osinbajo-AraseVice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, on Friday charged the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to make video recordings of voluntary confessional statements made by suspects under custody to avoid allegations of Police brutality.
The NPF has often been accused of obtaining confessional statements from suspects under duress and in some cases, doctoring confessions of suspects in custody.
This, Mr. Osinbajo said, is unacceptable.
The Vice President stated this in his opening remarks at the inaugural Inspector General of Police (IGP) strategic police management conference.
Represented by the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on economic matters, Yemi Dipeolu, the vice president, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, said: “I would like to touch on an aspect of custodial violence, which is confessional statement. I have found out that most defendants challenge the voluntariness of their confessional statements, leading to protracted trials within trials and occasioning significant delay in the administration of criminal justice.
“I have also found that in a large number of cases, judges often ascribe little or no weight to confessional statement where corroboration is lacking. Counter intuitive as it may sound, it is my view that the current way in which the police take confessional statement is the reasons for one of the main causes of delay at trial – the phenomenon of trials within trial.
Mr. Osinbajo, therefore, asked the police to take advantage of one of the provisions in the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 which mandates the police to record voluntary confessional statements on video or take them in the presence of legal counsel of the suspect’s choice.
In his remarks, the IGP, Solomon Arase, decried what he says is a chronic manpower gap at the strategic policing level within the Assistant Commissioners of Police and the Commissioners of Police.
He said the institutional challenge is compounded by the fact that there are limited training opportunities for officers of this cadre.
He also said the future of the Nigerian Police does not rest on the acquisition of weaponry but on the acquisition of requisite policing knowledge.
“Modern policing is no longer by might or brute force, but by the intellectual profile of individual officers”, Arase added.

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